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Capturing Thanksgiving Through Your Pictures and Memories

Thanksgiving traditions, plays, parades and (of course!) turkeys sparked these family memories from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

PARADE OF TRADITION. "When we were little, my dad took my sister and me to the Macy's parade. I remember it was freezing cold and we couldn't see much, but we were so thrilled to be in the heart of the cheering crowds while Mom stayed home and made turkey," writes Diane Dragan of Forest Hills, NY. Since 1924, Macy's department store has held its annual Thanksgiving day parade in New York. Here, Popeye floats above majorettes through Times Square; look closely and you can see the Automat on his right.

Thanksgiving celebration, 1960s

FAMILY FEAST. “By the time the 22-pound turkey shown above was done roasting at my grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving 1963, all of us eager grandchildren had done our part to help fix the feast. I’m the hungry lad in back, third from left," writes Mike Simko of Bridgeport, Connecticut. "We grandchildren had the 'privilege' of polishing the pans, mashing the turnips and potatoes, and making sugar cookies out of the extra homemade piecrust. I assure you Grandma’s pie was made with rhubarb from her garden and had the flakiest crust. She would never use a boxed crust mix or canned fruit. Grandma always lamented, 'You just can’t get a good loaf of bread today.'"

Thanksgiving turkeys

TOO MANY TOMS. Did your family get a turkey from the farm, or the freezer case? This family photo shows the annual trip of picking out a turkey from a flock, circa 1955.

Thanksgiving, 1950

WILD TURKEY. “My father took this slide on my Argus C3 35mm camera before our family’s Thanksgiving celebration in 1950 at our home in Moline, Illinois,” writes Scott Wood of Monrovia, Maryland. “I’m holding our dog Pupsy—obviously intimidated by the commotion—as my sisters Judy Wood Mitchell (middle) and Sally Wood try to get control of our Thanksgiving turkey (unnamed as far as I recall).”

Thanksgiving Pilgrims

PAGEANT OF PLENTY. The townspeople of Plymouth, MA re-enact an event around 1950, performing as Pilgrims in the churchyard where the first colony founders are buried.

Thanksgiving, 1958

DOUBLE YUM! “In 1958, Thanksgiving celebrations were especially happy days for the Stevens family living at Whiteman Air ForceBase, Missouri,” relates M.R. Stevens of Huntsville, Alabama. “It also happens that Annemarie, 3, got her Thanksgiving turkey leg and a baby sister on the same day!”

Thanksgiving cooking circa 1955

THAT'S SOME BIRD! A Mrs. Bolvin checks her juicy Thanksgiving turkey while her children watch, circa 1955.

Thanksgiving, 1959

PROUD RE-ENACTORS. “Pictured in this slide from 1959 are my father, Henry Anderson, and me at our home in Westfield, New Jersey,” relates Don Anderson of Santaquin, Utah. “I was 7 and part of the Indian Guides club. We learned a lot of American Indian history and customs from interested fathers, including mine.”

Times Square Thanksgiving

WHO'S COMING? Children line up eagerly watching the inflatable balloons in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in 1961 with a great view from Times Square.

REM Homepage Thanksgiving Bullwinkle

BUT WHERE'S ROCKY? Bullwinkle makes his Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade debut above girls in soldier costumes on November 26, 1961.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeThanksgiving celebration, 1960sThanksgiving turkeysThanksgiving, 1950Thanksgiving PilgrimsThanksgiving, 1958Thanksgiving cooking circa 1955Thanksgiving, 1959Times Square ThanksgivingREM Homepage Thanksgiving Bullwinkle


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

CAROLROLDAN November 9, 2013 at 11:44 am

good memories!


Vince Iuliano November 14, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Great memories, always an enjoyable pleasant site! A few years back, you even ran MY Thanksgiving memory! Keep up the great work! Its definitely a nice change of pace..and a great look back at a happier time! Classic classy magazine!


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